Teaching Student Leaders

Through InterVarsity, Taylor learned to be a servant leader and now he is training chapter members to teach future generations of students to be servant leaders.

Taylor Bodoh became the InterVarsity staff member at Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee in the fall of 2005. Taylor has developed a discipleship training program, and God has been gracious. The chapter has more than doubled in size to a thriving Christian community of over eighty students.

Taylor experienced Christian community and learned servant leadership while he was a student at the University of North Florida (UNF) in Jacksonville. He majored in philosophy to explore different belief systems. As he studied, he was drawn to those ideas that most closely matched biblical truths.

Then during his sophomore year, Taylor found in the InterVarsity chapter something more exciting than philosophical ideas. He found a living Christian community. Within that community he experienced the truth of the Bible as InterVarsity students loved him and invited him to accept Jesus, the living Savior.

Taylor learned about servant leadership when he was mentored by Dan Dodge, the InterVarsity staff member at UNF. Dan shared his Christian life with Taylor, showing him that taking time to know Jesus is the foundation for any Christian ministry. Dan answered Taylor’s questions, showed him the truth of Scriptures, and encouraged him to be obedient, even though he was afraid.

At the end of his junior year, Taylor saw an example of this type of obedience. David, a sophomore at the UNF, decided to transfer to FSU in order to encourage the Christian community on that campus. The chapter at UNF supported David in his decision and sent him off with their prayers.

About this time, Taylor was considering what to do with his life after graduation. He had enjoyed his studies in philosophy and thought of going on to become a college professor. But he was challenged by the examples of Dan and David.

Taylor realized that if he went into academia, he would be more likely to pursue his own interests than serve the need of others. Taylor decided to join InterVarsity staff. Karissa, his wife, also joined InterVarsity as an active volunteer. They arrived at UNF the next year, thankful for David’s obedience that had prepared the way for the growth in the InterVarsity chapter.

As Taylor develops leaders, he is not necessarily trying to fill positions. He is looking for the people that God raises up to be leaders. The chapter holds a commissioning ceremony for these students, and they spend a year as apprentice leaders. During this time, rather than training for a specific leadership role, they learn to be shepherds of the community.

The young leaders have a high level of commitment to the chapter and gain a unified vision for the direction of the community. Taylor sees this approach to leadership development as beneficial to the leaders and to the community. The leaders learn what it means to be a servant leader, and the community is built on the strong foundation of many rather than teetering on top of a few.

Just as Taylor was open to God’s call on his life, being obedient to recreate the community that he experienced, he is now teaching others to continue to reproduce that leadership.




You can make a direct financial donation to support InterVarsity’s work at Florida State University by following this link.